Do you trust ads from radio DJs?
The US radio airwaves are filled with endorsements from radio DJs, and the list of things they hawk is mind-blowing. Coming from a country that doesn’t have these paid radio endorsements, I have a different perspective on it. And it leads me to ask two questions; do you really believe the endorsement?; does it change your opinion of the DJ?
My radio station of choice at the moment is an AM talk radio station called KHOW. I am estimating here, but I would say around 22 minutes of each hour is devoted to advertising, and at least half of that is done by the DJs themselves. And to be honest, they really grind on me. Most of the time, it’s the awful segues.
There’s a lot of political talk going on right now due to the November election. After an interesting and lively debate on Clinton and Obama recently, the DJ stopped in his tracks to say something like this: “Boy, you know this election really requires a candidate with a lot of vision and foresight, and that’s why I’d like to talk about Lasik eye treatment and the amazing offer you can get at Spivak.” Talk about lame.
But it doesn’t stop there. “You know, Hillary Clinton was in hot water with Obama last night, just like I was in my incredible spa from SpaBrokers. Oh, it was so warm and invigorating.” AAAARRRRRGGGHHHHH!
And there’s more: “I’ll tell you, my dog has been lackluster really, but I fed him Purina One last week and now he’s jumping around like a newborn puppy.” Please, somebody, shoot me now. That’s about as genuine as a politician kissing a baby.
Do these DJs really believe that we believe them? Because I know for one that I don’t. Sure, they may be good products but these are paid endorsements. If you gave a DJ enough money he or she would wax lyrical about the amazing and wonderful taste of a dry dog turd he found on the pavement. It’s not the same as a regular ad on the radio. We, as consumers, are conditioned to listen to ads in a certain way and take them with a grain of salt.
But when a radio DJ stops everything to sell you dog food, plumbing fixtures or stainless steel barbecues, it does two things (at least to me). First, it makes me question everything that comes out of that DJs mouth. And second, it turns me against the product being advertised, which is not the intention at all.
I have been thinking about getting satellite radio recently, and it’s mainly due to the radio DJ ads. I can’t stand them. They make me boil inside. And if you change the channel, you just get more of the same. If you time it just right, you can be flicking channels for half an hour listening to nothing but empty, shallow paid endorsements from DJs who have more money than sense, and want you spend all of it using their name.
That’s right. If the paid endorsement wasn’t enough, the DJs get more lovely financial kickbacks when you use their name in a promotion box or referral line. “If you want to take advantage of this amazing offer, simply mention my name Dick Head and you’ll get 20% off.” Actually, you’ll get 20% off even if you don’t mention his name, just ask for it. That is, of course, if you actually take advantage of any radio offer. I never have and never will because I can’t bring myself to line the pockets of smug radio DJs who have only their own financial interests at heart.
Now, I’m opening up the floor. What kind of crass radio DJ ads have you heard recently? What awful segues have they used? What are they trying to sell you? I think we could all use a laugh. Now, where is that application for XM radio?
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